9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[moh-tuh-veyt] /ˈmoʊ təˌveɪt/
verb (used with object), motivated, motivating.
to provide with a motive or motives; incite; impel.
Origin of motivate
1860-65; motive + -ate1
Related forms
motivator, noun
demotivate, verb (used with object), demotivated, demotivating.
demotivator, noun
nonmotivated, adjective
remotivate, verb (used with object), remotivated, remotivating.
unmotivated, adjective
unmotivating, adjective
well-motivated, adjective
induce, move, provoke, prompt, cause. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for motivator
  • Most projects that harness human processing power rely on a different motivator: money.
  • However, simply measuring the flow is a surprisingly powerful motivator.
  • Now a new study finds that a good motivator for some apnea sufferers to get treatment could be improved athletic performance.
  • It seems based on fear and that is the great motivator.
  • People need incentive to work and profit is an excellent motivator.
  • He recognised that a key motivator for many people is the desire to feel important, the nourishment of their self-esteem.
  • Some critics argue that pay is not a major motivator in the workplace.
  • Perhaps self-interest may prove a more powerful motivator.
  • Some people say aiming to look sleek in your swimsuit or wedding duds is the biggest motivator for losing weight.
  • The motivator had to be purely cosmetic, the way he glowered, plus the strange accent atop brutal word delivery.
British Dictionary definitions for motivator


(transitive) to give incentive to
Derived Forms
motivator, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for motivator

1917, agent noun in Latin form from motivate (v.).



1863, "to stimulate toward action," from motive + -ate (2); perhaps modeled on French motiver or German motivieren. Related: Motivated; motivating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for motivate

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for motivator

Scrabble Words With Friends